punish(redirected from punishability)
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take a punishing
1. To be thoroughly beaten or thrashed; to suffer rough treatment or abuse. My younger brother was always a shy, skinny kid who often took a punishing from schoolyard bullies. My feet have taken a punishing from hiking in these old sneakers.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. Their team's inexperience showed on the pitch today, as they took a punishing from the powerful squad from New Zealand.
3. To suffer severe losses or setbacks. The stock market took a punishing over the weekend after fears of Greece's exit from the Eurozone. My efforts to get my PhD have taken a punishing over the last couple of years, but I'm still determined to see it through.
punish someone by something
to discipline someone by doing something. The headmaster punished the children by forcing them to go to bed early. She punished herself by not eating.
punish someone for something
to discipline someone for [doing] something. Someone will punish you for what you did. Please don't punish me for doing it. I'm sorry.
punish someone with something
to use something to discipline someone. The captain punished the sailor with the lash. Sally threatened to punish Timmy with a spanking.